tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 21, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
wild race. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. the battle between the president and his challenger is heading into overdrive. one guy is going to survive this two-week drill between now and election day, the other guy is going to go down, big-time, big-time. everybody can see how close this is. the loser will get pilloried by his party. how can you throw it away and be so out of it? so out of it? the closing struggle begins now this weekend. then monday in boca raton, florida, for the final debate. this one on foreign policy. never let it leave your mind, this election is about the economy. president obama has two weeks to sell the country on what he'd do in a second term. he needs to ramp it all up.
the policy that saved the auto industry and how this kind of active industrial policy can bring a surge in american manufacturing. he needs to push the overdue construction in this country, roadway, rail, brick and mortar investment, a campaign that will bring this country aggressively into the 21st century. he pushed that big jobs bill in his first weeks in office that kept the economy from heading off a cliff. he needs to show us what a second bill will look like. the more he paints the picture of his second term economic rebuilding agenda, the better. chuck todd is nbc's chief white house correspondent and political director, and jonathan martin is politico's senior political reporter. gentlemen, i brought you on as the big brains. now, i want some big brains. i was at the al smith dinner. a bunch of rich irish, i get it. some of the guys are smart up there, actually. >> finger on the pulse. >> not regular. this thing seems to be drifting around. i don't want to bring a lot of
numbers in tonight because they are so many of them they all conflict with each other. is there a drift, a turn, is it moving towards romney clearly ever since that first debate? is that a safe assessment or is it not? >> i think it moved clearly in romney's direction. i think it is now sort of sitting there. the question is does he still have a little momentum or did the president stop him? and, you know, that's -- >> so that's -- a little more momentum left, but he gained ground. >> he gained a lot of ground. this is basically an even race, a coin flip race, whether mitt romney can break through in the three midwestern states, ohio, iowa, and wisconsin. it's the only way the math works. >> you're implying it's going to be so close in the popular vote that these electoral decisions are going to really matter. >> i think they absolutely are going to matter. >> there's not going to be -- >> colorado and virginia are the two closest. >> you don't see a national mandate crossing the country right now? >> not right now. i am still a believer that it's still possible. >> i think it's still possible. >> what do you think -- do you agree with him it basically
moved a big space toward romney after that first debate and that sort of came to a still, that swing, or has it in your mind? >> i think it is still moving in romney's direction. >> okay, fine. >> and i think one of two things are going to happen. either the obama campaign is going to sweat out an electoral vote victory where they put together a combination of the states chuck mentioned, iowa, wisconsin, and nevada, and romney can't get to 270 and they sweat out a tough race, negative race. they grind it down, and they get 275. or in the next couple days here we do see that national swing and romney does make sort of huge -- >> and sweeps it. >> at what point does it become a popular vote election? >> if romney moves. it could happen. it would only happen in the romney direction. >> if he has a strong movement the next two weeks as he had two weeks ago -- >> correct. >> -- is he a winner? >> it's hard to imagine -- absolutely, yes. >> let's look at the president today. let's look at "the daily show."
let's look at that. it wasn't the ""the daily show". the president tried to sell -- good job. i'm not sure he's done yet. let's watch. >> four years ago i said i'd end the war in iraq. we did. said i would pass health care reforms, make sure people don't go bankrupt when they get sick. we have. said we had to refocus on al qaeda. we have. made sure that we saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse. we've done that. so we've got a very strong story to tell whether it's on social issues like don't ask, don't tell or economic issues that matter for middle class families. >> does that lean forward enough or is that just the past? >> it feels like the past, but one of the odder things we're seeing in the polling is the right track/wrong track is moving in the direction that should be helping the president. and yet mitt romney is the one making -- is still making gains even as people feel better, both with the job the president is doing -- this is what's weird about this. this is not a seesaw.
the romney move up is not correlating with some sort of obama going down on his job rating. >> right. >> and that is -- >> could it be that the president outran his string? could it be he outran his string? his good news has come too late? >> that's a very strong possibility. >> the housing market is up, job claims are going down for unemployment. >> but it came two months too late. i think the best thing to happen to romney was that first debate. you had 70 million people who finally saw him, not the caricature in the tv ads. they saw him in the flesh. i'll tell you what, i have been talking to a lot of swing folks in places like new hampshire, places like florida last couple days. operatives in both parties in those swing states, and they say that was a huge moment because for the first time people saw, yes, this is somebody who could be a plausible alternative. it doesn't mean they were willing to sort of buy the house right there, but, yeah, i can live here. >> they let him in the house. once you let him in the house, it's hard to say get out of the
house. >> here is a fun little nugget -- >> he's sitting on the recliner. >> here is a fun nugget about the first debate. the time between the first and second debate, it's the longest period of time between a first and second debate since 1988. that's also what hurt the president and helped romney. he got two weeks of momentum out of this debate. the president needed -- >> they kept talking about it. >> the president needed to -- >> who was it that said he has got five weeks to live off that first debate between that election -- >> he lived off it for longer than mondale got with reagan. he lived it on longer -- >> unemployment -- the employment numbers are getting better in 41 states. they are better than they were. i thought the joke last night, you're asking me about the al smith dinner. romney made fun of obama by saying you can say based on the september numbers you're better off than you were four weeks ago. i mean, they're starting to put down the fact of this late recovery. >> that could be a huge challenge. the idea that the vp debate, chris, or the debate at hofstra earlier this week were going to somehow turn this around for obama, it hasn't happened yet.
>> it's slowed it down. i think you're seeing some evidence that it sort of -- romney didn't lose any ground. he didn't peel anything, but i think the president stopped the erosion. >> let me ask you about this question of what you think. i know you guys don't want to take political positions or partisan positions, but i will. in fact, this is an impartial analysis. i think the american people will not vote for nothing. they're not going to vote for obama's track record, not vote for romney's business know-how. what they're looking for a plan they can say, when i voted, it meant something. i have heard people say, i like this guy romney because he had that five-point plan thing, he had something i could see. business guy, i'm going to do these things. obama has done a lot more at the national level than romney ever thought of doing, but he doesn't turn it into a future map. he said i have done the automobile, i did the stimulus, did health care, but where does that point to what they're going to do? >> their investment and theory of the case is the way to get re-elected in this environment is to render romney as unacceptable. didn't work. what do we do now?
>> that didn't work. >> they're still doing it. look at today, for example -- >> look at the president today. did he cue it up? let's show the president because i agree with you. instead of trying to build the case for the president staying in the game, being kept in as starting pitcher, they keep making the case against the guy in the bull pen, and i don't think that's the way it works. here he is this afternoon, the president called out romney for shifting positions on issues like equal pay, women's health, taxes, and coining a new phrase for his opponent's condition. let's watch him. >> i mean, he's changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping, we've got to name this condition he's going through. we have to name this condition that he is going through. i think -- i think it's called romnesia. that's what it's called. and if you come down with a case of romnesia and you can't seem to remember the policies that
are still on your website or the promises you've made over the six years you've been running for president, here is the good news. obama care covers pre-existing conditions! we can fix you up! we've got a cure! >> we've got a big fight coming up later in the show about women and this whole thing, and you two guys are going to talk about it as distant people here, males, but is that going to be an issue here now because i saw those younger women there. i saw cecile richards introduced him in northern virginia today. my question is, without a gender gap, can a democrat win? >> no. no chance. no chance. they have to. >> because if the issue is health, education, it's women's rights, the whole plethora of issues.
for women mainly. >> that's why when you see the race this close and then you'll see some polls that will be a two or three-point race but there's no gender gap, you're like, throw that poll out. >> chuck, todd, thank you, gentlemen. the battle comes up. joe walsh says, concern for the health of the woman says it is just an excuse to have an abortion. kathleen turner comes here, to fight for the woman. it got hot in the battles for the country. check out this between brown and josh mandel. >> being called a liar, a liar by the winner of the pants on crown fire is just a pretty remarkable thing for a young man to say or for a man of any age to say in a political debate. >> that was one of the many round house punches thrown last night in senate debates around the country. we are going to bring you the important action. it is going to get hot here. monday, the last of the presidential debates on foreign policy. a home game for the president. the president needs to put out the bottom line on what happened
in benghazi and get it over with it. what a bunch of troglodytes out there. this is "hardball," the place for politics. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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>> when it comes to issues critical to women, the right to make your own decision about your health, the right to be treated fairly and equally in the work place, governor romney wants to take us to policies more suited to the 1950s. that is for sure. anyway, welcome back. president obama campaigned today in virginia, northern virginia there. george mason kept the focus on women. a lot of young women there, and also cecile richards introduced him.
paul ryan and the republican party has taken issues related to women that can only be described as extreme. i mean extreme. we'll run through the list including a gop platform that criminalizes abortion. now we've got a new entry following his debate last night. the illustrious, i mean that totally sarcastically, u.s. congressman, joe walsh, said allowing an exception for abortion when the mother's life is at risk is not medically or scientifically necessary. >> this is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. there's no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing. with advances in science and technology, there is -- health of the mother has been -- has become a tool for abortions any time under any reason.
>> and this quote, unbelievable the way these guys are talking, scientific theory to todd akin's theory to back it up that women don't get pregnant from a legitimate rape. in other words, if they don't want to get pregnant, they aren't getting pregnant. anyway, here is a sign of how important democrats believe abortion rights are to their fate. this chart shows the number of ads for democratic candidates on this issue, the blue one up there, and all races that mention abortion, contraception, and funding for planned parenthood have increased much more than for republicans in red. no surprise. great guest. joining us is activist and actor kathleen turner. the great kathleen turner. and managing editor of thegrio.com, joy reid. two great women to talk about it. they don't want to call it a war on women, but i got to tell you, this guy, walsh again, the other day said, my mother was told not to have any more kids at the risk of her life. this is what happens. this is real. how could he just come along and say you can't get pregnant if you get raped. they throw this stuff out. >> what's scary is he and akins are by no means the exceptions. i mean, this is going on continually in every state across our country. the idea -- the cdc has stated
that availability of contraception and a woman's ability to control her reproductive life has been the greatest health advancement in the 20th century leading to the greatest economic rise in that women can now have higher degrees, earn higher hourly wages, 40% of women earn more than their husbands. so this is not simply a question of women's rights. it is also an economic question. >> my question to joy, we call this a women's issue because it's women who primarily take responsibility for birth control. i guess you could say. both parties should be responsible. let's not be too complicated about this. both engage in sex, both knowing there's no protection going on and not taking responsibility when that happens, but women have to be the first responders you might say because they've got to live with it. here is the question. here is the question. why don't men and women both say birth control is a darn good thing? we should make sure it's
available to women who are working. as resplendently and prodigiously as possible. spread it around, birth control, get it out there. we want to reduce the number of abortions, unwanted pregnancies. do something about it, stop talking about it and passing bills that don't mean anything. your thoughts, joy. >> and a guy like joe walsh who won't even pay his child support. this is a guy that won't take responsibility for the births that he is directly responsible for producing. chris has a great point, but birth control has just become yet another part of the culture wars, and you have guys like walsh that have taken this hard and fast position which is anti-abortion. just to give some statistics to mr. walsh in case he needs to be educated on them, maternal death still happens in this country. the united states is 39th in the world behind countries like greece and germany. albania has a better rate in terms of maternal death versus places like houston. specifically, especially in red states where you have got something like 16 deaths, maternal deaths per 100,000
births according to a study in atlanta in 2010. this is still a very real problem and there are still very real women dying -- >> let's get off sex -- i want to get off sex for a minute and obviously reproductive rights. i want to say something about equal pay. why has governor romney refused to say as of this moment, friday afternoon at 5:00 eastern time, he's refused to say why he's against the equal pay bill. he won't say whether he's for or against. >> i don't think it's just about the equal pay. i think he's obviously not giving many specifics about almost anything. i wanted to follow up on your point about contraceptives being something that both men and women must be for. i'm chairman of the board -- >> i know that. you were at the beginning. -- of planned parenthood. >> one of the things i believe we have great common ground on is the fact that what we want is no child unwanted. >> yeah. >> that every child should be wanted. which means every child should be planned. and given those conditions, the ability to access, when you see
this new ad about a woman saying, oh, well, romney is not against contraception at all, this is ridiculous because it doesn't mean contraception is even available to that woman whether romney personally is for it or not. >> he means it's legal. that's the nonsensical -- >> it doesn't mean the woman can get her hands on it. >> we will have you back. kathleen is starring right here in washington in a play called "red hot patriot, the kick-ass wit of the great molly ivins." that's here in d.c. through october 28th. still here. you and molly ivins, what a pair. up next, highlights from last night's al smith dinner where president obama made a special apology to me. i didn't need it. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] born from the naturally sweet monk fruit,
>> back to "hardball." first to last night's al smith dinner up in new york. as you can see, i was up on the dais at the big event seated right behind president obama and mitt romney. here is the view i had from my seat. i have to say, thanks to tom moran and his global food program concern for taking this great photo right in front of us there. in his own joke-laden speech, the president made a specific apology regarding his performance in that first debate. >> i particularly want to apologize to chris matthews. four years ago, i gave him a thrill up his leg. this time around i gave him a stroke. >> that was something. now to more of the night featuring both presidential candidates. >> a campaign can require a lot of wardrobe changes. blue jeans in the morning perhaps, a suit for a lunch
fund-raiser, sport coat for dinner, but it's nice to finally relax and wear what ann and i wear around the house. >> i went shopping at some stores in midtown. i understand governor romney went shopping for some stores in midtown. sometimes it feels like this race has dragged on forever. but paul ryan assured me that we've only been running for two hours and 50-something minutes. >> don't be surprised if the president mentions this evening the monthly jobs report where there was a slight improvement in the numbers. >> the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since i took office. i don't have a joke here. i just thought it would be useful to remind everybody. >> president obama and i are each very lucky to have one person who is always in our corner. someone who is a comforting presence without whom we wouldn't be able to go another day. i have my beautiful wife, ann. he has bill clinton. >> spoiler alert, we got bin laden. >> actually it was mostly a pillow fight, especially by the president. now the big debate, not the presidential one. earlier this week i showed you part of my encounter with bill o'reilly for jon stewart's
autism benefit "night of too many stars." there was a lot where that came from. o'reilly and i had strict guidelines to stick to in our debate. take a look. >> you know the rules of the debate. neither participant shall be permitted to speak without first filling their lungs with helium. the participants may continue to speak only if the helium has kept up the pitch of their voice. >> we have to start now. why don't you ask a question. >> you inhale, they decide. >> that means like it or lump it. >> our annual deficits are now above -- you might want a little more of that-- $1 trillion a year. the president says it's time to raise taxes on the rich. governor romney says that would inhibit job creation. >> well, i don't agree with that. >> i say we have to go back to the clinton tax rates and get the hell out of afghanistan.
>> you can catch the full production if you want to this sunday on comedy central at 8:00 p.m. eastern. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. tried weight . but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes. this is going to give you a head start on your dinner. that seems easier [ female announcer ] new progresso recipe starters. five delicious cooking sauces you combine with fresh ingredients to make amazing home-cooked meals.